I was scrolling through Instagram a while back and a thought came to me. For all the inspiration being shared, goals and aspirations etc. I realised that more often or not that a contributor will tell me ‘I should’ it will be fantastic and that ‘I can do it’.

That’s so cool………. Uh…… Hang on……..

But hang on for a minute, they are not me, they don’t know my story, who I am, where I’m at etc. How could they possibly know what’s good for me?

The thought that keeps circling for me, could this be a subtle form of projection. Where an individual attributes characteristics in themselves to another person. 

Psychological Projection can often be thought of as a defence mechanism to cope with complex emotions. I’m not thinking here that there is some negative or defensible action.

Projection, there are a few variations (not limited to): [a]

  1. Complementary projection occurs when individuals assume others feel the same way they do. For example, a person with a particular political persuasion might take it for granted that friends and family members share those beliefs.
  2. Complimentary projection is the assumption other people can do the same things as well as oneself. For example, an accomplished pianist might take it for granted that other piano students can play the piano equally well.

When we think of sharing (i.e. content on Instagram or Facebook, or in person etc.) are we trying to connect with a person where they are at or being a bit perhaps presumptuous that they are where we are at (and of course that we know the truth of them). 

If we think the latter, then perhaps we’re not thinking of them as a person (an object instead). If we were to think of another as a person our mindset moves to a place to consider different things in them.

Person or Object?

I ask this question of myself simply because if my mind moves to assume a person is a object then I’m probably simply thinking of myself as that’s likely to be the first things that pop into my mind. My immediate vicinity. Perhaps that thinking is more like an object or at least similar/identical to me.

When I start thinking deeper about that person/s, I think of their situation, how they are different, their families, ethnicity, culture, location, financial situation, troubles and trials, celebrations, travel, introverted or extraverted, skills and capabilities and so on. I’m thinking much deeper and there I think more of them. I’m thinking they are more human than ever.

If I’m thinking of them as more human and a deeper person, Surely, I’m going to treat them differently too.

Contributing Forward

When we Insta-Project we can ask ourselves the question are we really treating others as people?

So, when I go the ‘you should’, perhaps I really need to hold my breath, reflect and reframe.

Perhaps instead, “I tried XYZ and had a great result, it might not get you the same result, perhaps try and see for yourself, it might”.

I know I’ve Insta-Projected, so the call is much on myself as it is for others to think through too. Give it some thought, you might agree, you might not.

Discover everyday –

Where does our thinking take us –